To thoroughly clean your bathroom sink drain (which tends to get full of a black sludge from soap scum, toothpaste, dirt and mildew), you'll need to fully remove the Moen sink stopper. It's common for Moen sink stoppers to be attached to a lever, so you'll need to do some work under the sink to disassemble the sink stopper mechanism.
Moen Sink Stopper Mechanisms
Moen sink stoppers will plug your bathroom sink drain with the simple pull of a rod, located behind the faucet spout. Pushing the rod back to its original position will release the sink stopper and allow water to drain.
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Below the sink, the rod is connected to another strip of metal called a clevis. The clevis is screwed tightly to the rod and attaches to a lever at the other end. This lever goes through the drain pipe and through a hole at the bottom of the sink stopper.
The position of the clevis is key to ensuring the sink stopper and rod work as they should. For example, if the clevis is too far back on the lever, the stopper will not be pushed up when the rod is pulled. You'd have to pry the stopper up from the sink to lift it into position.
Removing a Moen Sink Stopper
If your drain is clogged or dirty, have an old towel on hand to catch any water or debris that may fall while you remove the Moen sink stopper. From under the sink, start by removing the spring clip that attaches the clevis to the lever. Slide one side of the spring clip off the lever, followed by the clevis and the second side of the spring clip.
Next, locate the retaining nut that ensures water doesn't leak from the drain at the lever's point of entry. Unscrew this nut, but take care: Because you're looking at it from the opposite side, you may need to unscrew it by turning it toward your right. These nuts are often plastic and can break if too much force is exerted in an attempt to loosen them counterclockwise.
Once the retaining nut has been removed from the drain pipe threads, push the lever up to ensure the sink stopper is also up. With one hand reaching up to the sink (or with the help of an assistant), hold the sink stopper while pulling the lever out of the sink drain. If the sink stopper falls, it's not a huge problem — just lever it out from the top with a thin tool like a small flat-head screwdriver.
Removing the Clevis and Rod
With the lever, retaining nut and sink stopper out of the way, you have better access to your sink drain for cleaning and deodorizing. But if you want to completely remove the sink stopper assembly to replace it, you'll also need to remove the clevis and rod.
The clevis attaches to the rod with a simple screw that you can untwist by hand. The clevis will slip off the rod as soon as this screw loosens sufficiently. Pull the rod up from the top of the faucet to finish.